No Foolin’

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April Fools’ Day, also known as All Fools’ Day, is a day dedicated to playing practical jokes and spreading hoaxes. Its origins are unclear, but there are several theories about its history.

One theory suggests that April Fools’ Day dates back to ancient Rome, where a festival called Hilaria was celebrated on March 25th. During this festival, people played pranks on each other and exchanged gifts. The festival was later adopted by Christians and became known as Easter.

Another theory suggests that April Fools’ Day began in France in the 16th century. In 1582, King Charles IX ordered the adoption of the Gregorian calendar, which moved New Year’s Day from April 1st to January 1st. Some people were slow to accept this change and continued to celebrate New Year’s Day on April 1st. These people were mocked and ridiculed by others, who played pranks on them and sent them on “fool’s errands.”

April Fools’ Day became popular in England in the 18th century and was brought to America by English colonists. Today, it is celebrated in many countries around the world, with people playing practical jokes and hoaxes on each other. Some of the most famous April Fools’ Day hoaxes include a 1957 BBC news report about spaghetti trees in Switzerland, and a 1996 Taco Bell ad claiming that the fast-food chain had purchased the Liberty Bell.

The history of April Fools’ Day is somewhat mysterious, and there is no clear consensus on its origins. However, it has become a popular tradition in many parts of the world and continues to be celebrated with pranks and jokes every year.

Long Live the King 🦍

“King Kong” is a 1933 American film directed by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack. The movie is a pioneering work of the fantasy and adventure genre and has had a significant impact on popular culture. The legacy of King Kong can be traced in several areas, including:

  1. Film History: “King Kong” was a landmark movie that influenced the development of special effects and stop-motion animation. The film’s groundbreaking use of miniature models and stop-motion animation paved the way for later films such as “Star Wars” and “Jurassic Park.”
  2. Pop Culture: The character of King Kong has become a pop culture icon and has appeared in countless movies, TV shows, comics, and video games. Kong has become synonymous with giant monsters and has been referenced and parodied in numerous works of fiction.
  3. Social Commentary: “King Kong” also had a significant impact on social commentary, particularly in its portrayal of race and colonialism. The film’s depiction of Kong as a primitive, savage creature that is conquered by Western civilization has been criticized for its racist undertones.
  4. Box Office Success: “King Kong” was a massive box office success upon its release and remains one of the highest-grossing movies of all time, adjusted for inflation. The film’s success paved the way for other fantasy and adventure films, and its popularity continues to this day.

The legacy of “King Kong” is significant and enduring. The film’s impact on film history, pop culture, social commentary, and box office success have made it a classic and a beloved icon of cinema.

Test-tube Ladies of Pulp Magazines

It is not uncommon for early 20th century pulp magazines to feature illustrations of women in test-tubes as part of their science fiction or horror themes. These depictions often played into the anxieties and fears of the time about advances in science and technology and their potential consequences.

One notable example of this is the cover of the Summer 1948 issue of Planet Stories, which features a woman in a test-tube being experimented on by an alien. These illustrations were often highly sexualized and objectifying, presenting women as passive and vulnerable objects of scientific experimentation. They also reinforced traditional gender roles, casting men as the active and rational scientists and women as the passive and emotional subjects of study.

While these images may be disturbing to modern audiences, they are a reflection of the cultural attitudes of the time and the popular genres of pulp fiction. It is important to acknowledge and critique these depictions, while also understanding the historical context in which they were created. Personally, I find them to be oddly interesting. There is a definite psychological issue going on with needing to be in total control of a subject to the point of not even allowing them their humanity. Some are really well illustrated, in fact the Other Worlds Science Stories (May 1951) Red Coral cover is my favorite. It feels more like a life pod than a woman being held for experimentation.

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Star Trek: The Journey from Series to Cinema

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“Star Trek: The Motion Picture” is a science-fiction film that was released in 1979, directed by Robert Wise and produced by Gene Roddenberry. It is the first feature film based on the original “Star Trek” television series, which aired from 1966 to 1969. It began the journey to the big screen via development for a continuation series, named “Star Trek: Phase II”.

The movie brought back the original cast, including William Shatner as Captain Kirk, Leonard Nimoy as Spock, DeForest Kelley as Dr. McCoy, and the rest of the Enterprise crew. The plot centers around an alien entity that is heading towards Earth, and the crew must race to intercept it before it destroys the planet.

“Star Trek: The Motion Picture” was a major departure from the television series in terms of its scope, special effects, and budget. It was made with a budget of $46 million, which was a significant amount of money for a film at the time, and it used state-of-the-art visual effects to create the alien entity and the various space scenes.

The film received mixed reviews from critics and fans, with some praising its ambitious storytelling and impressive visuals, while others criticized its slow pace and lack of action. However, it was a commercial success, grossing over $139 million worldwide and spawning a series of sequels.

Two of my favorite designs in the Trek universe come from this film. The wonderful greys and earthtones Starfleet uniforms. Also, the refit Enterprise is phenomenal, and I still love the slow fly-around tour of the new exterior. I was searching for an affordable, simple model of this version of the Enterprise today, which inspired this post. No luck in my search, but I’ll keep an eye out.

“Star Trek Phase II” was a proposed television series that was intended to be a continuation of the original “Star Trek” television series. It was planned to be produced in the late 1970s and would have featured the original cast members reprising their roles.

The series was initially developed by Paramount Pictures as a response to the success of “Star Wars” in 1977. The plan was to launch a new “Star Trek” series as part of the new wave of science-fiction programming that was becoming popular at the time.

However, the project was eventually shelved in favor of producing “Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” which was released in 1979. Many of the ideas and concepts that were developed for “Star Trek Phase II” were later incorporated into the first Star Trek film.

Some of the original scripts that were written for “Star Trek Phase II” were later adapted into episodes of “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” which premiered in 1987. The first episode of “The Next Generation,” titled “Encounter at Farpoint,” was based on a script that was originally written for “Star Trek Phase II.”

While “Star Trek Phase II” never came to fruition as a television series, its development paved the way for the continued success of the “Star Trek” franchise in the decades that followed, including multiple television series and films.

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